Few things have surfaced at the end of mission statement released by the team of International Monetary Fund (IMF) that was in Pakistan for almost a week to discuss country’s mounting economic crisis. The report acknowledges that the government has taken some right policy measures to divert the looming financial challenges. Nonetheless, the organisation’s acknowledgement should not relax the policymakers for the body wants Pakistan to formulate a “decisive policy action” and seek for “significant external financing” if the state seeks to overcome the financial challenges.

The Chief of the IMF team has rightly pointed out certain practices responsible for the situation Pakistan is in including “overvalued exchange rate, loose fiscal policy and accommodative monetary policy.” The revelations made under the IMF report are not new. Many local experts had been warning the state of an economic crisis brewing; owing to its inefficient economic and fiscal practices. Furthermore, the international market is also going under rapid changes. Notably, the increase in oil prices and expected depreciation in the value of Pakistani currency against the dollar will add to the financial woes of Islamabad.

While IMF's statement has identified many flaws in the state practices of running its economy, the organisation’s call for a further hike in gas and power tariffs will not only affect the industrial sectors. Domestic consumers will suffer the most. The prediction that inflation will rise in the coming days, an increase in gas and power tariffs will negatively impact the lives of the masses.

 The incumbent government was well aware of the financial challenge before it became the ruling party. The Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan, in his first speech, hinted of adopting austerity measures to put the economy back on the track. However, so far the austerity measures taken by the government are haphazard. This haphazardness of austerity steps shows that the government’s economic policy is lacking clarity.

As suggested in earlier editorials the state needs to tackle the economic crisis from all possible angles. It is not the mere increase in power and gas tariffs is the solution, nor is seeking loans a sustainable key to the economic challenges of ours. Though Imran’s advisors have told him that the only viable option before Pakistan is to ask for a bailout package from IMF, the body has not hinted if it will grant any loan to Pakistan. As the “friends” have put nothing concrete and material in the exchequer of Pakistan and IMF too has not mentioned any new bailout deal, the country is still in limbo.